- Title: ZIMBABWE: MUGABE DISSOLVES CABINET IN SURPRISE MOVE.
- Date: 24th August 2002
- Summary: (U4) HARARE, ZIMBABWE (FILE) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV/CU: ZIMBAWEAN PARLIAMENT BUILDING/ SIGN (3 SHOTS) 0.14 2. TV/GV: VARIOUS INTERIORS OF THE PARLIAMENT (3 SHOTS) 0.27 3. MV: VARIOUS OF PARLIAMENTARIANS LEAVING THE BUILDING (2 SHOTS) 0.44 (U4) HARARE, ZIMBABWE (AUGUST 24, 2002) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 7. GV: NEWSPAPER BILLBOARDS 0.50 8. CU/CU/PAN: VARIOUS OF NEWSPAPER HEADLINES IN THE CITY THIS MORNING (2 SHOTS) 1.00 (U4) HARARE, ZIMBABWE (AUGUST 24, 2002) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 10. MCU: (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLITICAL ANALYST JOHN MAKUMBE SAYING: "I think it is part of the grand plan to survive politically, There are two groups within the current cabinet who have performed dismally in the face of very strong opposition and I think he wants to ditch them." 1.34 11. MV: (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAKUMBE SAYING: "None of the ministers after the 31st March was in fact a minister and he is aware it is only a matter of time before a very serious challenge is mounted." 1.50 12. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAKUMBE SAYING: "I think there are people currently outside the cabinet who he wants to pick and to reward for their performance either in funding the party or in dancing to the tune of Mugabe or in lambasting of the white commercial farmers, America the United Kingdom and even some of our neighbouring countries." 2.18 13. MCU: (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAKUMBE SAYING: "I think he has done it now also because we are entering the red area, the red light area where perhaps beginning even as early as September but mainly October/November we are going to see real starvation in this country. We might even see outbreaks of violence as people revolt." 2.41 (U4) HARARE, ZIMBABWE (FILE) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 14. MV/PAN: VARIOUS OF MUGABE AT OPENING SESSION OF PARLIAMENT (2 SHOTS) 2.55 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 8th September 2002 13:00
- Location: HARARE, ZIMBABWE
- Country: Zimbabwe
- Reuters ID: LVA1WJJ8XSX6MURDZDV9CQP2P7KK
- Story Text: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has dissolved his
cabinet in a surprise move that official sources said was
linked to a government drive to seize white-owned farms for
Mugabe, who has vowed to press ahead with the land
seizures despite resistance from farmers and growing criticism
abroad, made the surprise move on Friday (August 23). He will
announce a new cabinet on Monday, (August 26) a government
It gave no reason for the action by seventy-eight year-old
Mugabe who has ruled the southern African country since
leading it to independence from Britain in 1980.
"His Excellency, the President, Comrade R.G. Mugabe,
today, 23rd August, 2002, dissolved cabinet," said the
statement signed by Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba.
Charamba was not immediately available for comment.
But official sources said Mugabe had summoned his
ministers and his two vice-presidents for an unscheduled
meeting at his official residence earlier on Friday where he
discussed the government's controversial land seizure drive.
Political Analyst John Makumbe told Reuters on Saturday
(August 24) that the dismissal may be part of a strategy to
substitute ministers who don't support him with 'yes-men' who
have been loyal to him and who agree with his policy of
repossessing land owned by white farmers.
"I think there are people currently outside the cabinet
who he wants to pick and to reward for their performance
either in funding the party or in dancing to the tune of
Mugabe or in lambasting of the white commercial farmers,
America the United Kingdom and even some of our neighbouring
countries," Mukumbe said.
Another reason is timing, Mukumbe said. Zimbabwe used to
be the bread-basket of Africa but now, millions are facing
food shortages following the disruption to agriculture.
Mugabe says his land drive is aimed at correcting a
colonial injustice which left 70 percent of the best farmland
in the hands of white farmers. White farmers say they support
land redistribution but are opposed to the government's
A report in the state-owned Herald newspaper on Friday
said the government would make changes to its land programme
in a bid to speed up the eviction process after a flurry of
With hunger lurking at the government's doorstep, civil
unrest could soon erupt. Mukumbe believes that the president
changed his cabinet in order to ensure there would be no
dissenting voices once the people do revolt.
"I think he has done it now also because we are entering
the red area, the red light area where perhaps beginning even
as early as September but mainly October/November we are going
to see real starvation in this country. We might even see
outbreaks of violence as people revolt," he said.
Zimbabwe has been gripped by a political and economic
crisis since pro-government militants invaded white-owned
farms in early 2000 in support of Mugabe's campaign to
redistribute farms to landless blacks.
More than 2,700 farmers are challenging the evictions on
the basis of a High Court ruling this month which said the
state could not confiscate land owned by one particular farmer
because it had not told the bank, which had a mortgage on the
Former Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa was quoted as
saying that only about 100 of the 2,737 court challenges could
be valid and the government would issue new eviction notices.
He also said he would recommend to cabinet an amendment to
reduce the eviction period to five days from 90 days from the
time the eviction papers are served.
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